Biography



Anthony Crowley is a director, writer, composer and designer. His music for the theatre includes productions of Twelfth Night, Blood Wedding, The Libertine, Big Hair In America , Fairy Tales For The Future and Theatre In The Raw. He also has a BA in Graphic Design and worked as an Art Director for Clemenger Advertising before attending the Melbourne Conservatorium in 1990. That same year he and librettist Luke Devenish collaborated on Vincent: An A cappella Opera, based upon the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Following it’s premiere at St.Martins Theatre, Opera Australia offered him a position with its Young Artist Program and he joined the company for it’s1993 Sydney season.

In 1991 he performed the role of "Mitya" for the Playbox Theatre Company’s production of Heroic Measures and began his second collaboration with Devenish – Supernature, before being awarded an Australian Musical Foundation Scholarship. He went on to spend a large part of 1992 in London, seconded to The English National Opera, Cameron Mackintosh, Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Really Useful Company. On his return he was commissioned by the NIDA Company to write book, music and lyrics to The Villain of Flowers, which premiered at NIDA’s parade theatre in 1994. The Villain of Flowers was later presented in full on ABC classic FM and the song Forgiven included in the ABC television special Once In A Blue Moon. This was followed by a second NIDA commission - Nathanial Storm - produced for the 1997 Festival of the Dreaming.

Between 1994 and 1996 he became involved in several community and youth theatre projects including Partners In Rhyme – involving twenty young composers playwright’s and performers, all collaborating on new Australian song writing. Partners in Rhyme went on to be presented as part of The Playbox Theatre Company’s Theatre in the Raw. In 1995 he was engaged by The City of Melbourne to research, write and rehearse a new composition for the Aids Candlelight Vigil.

In 1997 Crowley went on to form his own theatre company and its first production - The Journey Girl –received four green room nominations including best director and best new play in 1999. That same year his revised production of Vincent: An A cappella Opera received a nomination for best direction and won him the award for Best Musical Direction.

He returned to Sydney joining NIDA as Head of Music for the acting school. At the same time he was commissioned by the Playbox Theatre Company to write Dreaming The Pink Dingo, a finalist for the inaugural Pratt Musical Theatre Prize. In 2002/2003 he created a new arts incubator in Northcote and initiated the Wild Blue Project, a musical theatre venture involving singers, actors, visual performers and dancers, aspiring to create a contemporary, political voice for Australian Musical Theatre. The Wild Blue went on to have successful seasons in 2005 and 2006 at St.Martins Theatre in Melbourne. 

In 2002 Crowley penned the play The Frail Man - which went on to win both The Wal Cherry Play of the Year and The Malcolm Robertson Prize. The Frail Man was produced as part of Playbox’s 2004 season. In 2005 a reading of The Frail Man was also presented on Broadway as part of the ANPC/New Dramatists Award. The Frail Man went on to be published by Currency Press and was also short-listed for The Louis Esson Prize in Drama as part of 2005 The Premier’s Literary Awards.

While in New York his new play Shadow Passion was workshopped as part of the New Dramatists Program. Previously Shadow Passion won the 2004 R. E .Ross Trust Script Development Award and went on to secure development funding from The Australia Council in 2005. In 2007 Shadow Passion secured funding from both The Australia Council and Arts Victoria to opened in a world premiere at Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne.

In 2004 he was commissioned to create TRIBE – a new musical for the Victorian College of the Arts which toured to regional Victoria before being presented at the Victorian Arts Centre. This was followed by another VCA musical commission - SUPERFREAKS in 2005.

Between 2005 and 2007 he was Artistic Director of St.Martins Youth Arts Centre. Productions he created and directed in this time included When Sand Becomes Glass, Picasso’s Children, The Wild Blue, Pretty White Lies and the Velveteen Undertow and Motor-mouth and Suck-face; An Apocalyptic Love Story.

In 2006 he was co-winner of the Pratt Prize in musical theatre. In 2008 he won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Best Music Theatre Script - The Wild Blue. He then acted as dramaturge for West Side Circus and worked with NICA and Museum Victoria to create their production of The Walking Whale Circus. In 2009 he directed and devised Cabaret Berserkus for the Gold Coast Arts Centre. Between 209 and 20111 he collaborated with Composer Henry Krieger and Director Robert Longbottom on the musical RISE - The Tammy Faye Musical. In May 2011 the musical was workshopped at the Duke Studios 42nd street New York featuring Kristin Chenoweth as Tammy Faye Bakker. 

He is currently working on his new commission Carnival Joe with composer Mark Jones, a new play commissioned by The Australia Council – Stone Cold Karma, the screenplay - Clockweed and the novel 88 Days In New York.

antcrowley@anthonycrowley.com  © Anthony Crowley 2013